Friday, June 02, 2006

Boustany Franks Campaign Propaganda

Cholly Boustany has resorted to using his franking privilege as a Congressman to distribute campaign literature.

That's the inescapable conclusion given by the slick piece on alleged immigration reform that arrived in constituent mail boxes across Louisiana's Seventh Congressional District today.

The piece is indistinguishable from a campaign mailer, save for the absence of an overt Boustany plea for votes and his candidate number.

The address side contains a four-color photograph of a stop sign that reads: "STOP illegal immigration NOW!" It then claims that what follows on the flip side is "A report on border security and illegal immigration from Congressman Charles Boustany, Jr., MD."

What actually follows on the flip side is campaign blather about the House Republican agenda on immigration reform. Typically, it is misleading.

For instance, the flier claims that "Boustany helped pass the Border Protection, Anti-terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act to help better secure our borders and keep our nation safe." As anyone following the issue knows, the House version of this Republican grandstand on immigration reform is wholly incompatible with the version passed by Republicans (and some Democrats) in the U.S. Senate. Even many Republicans are doubtful that House and Senate Republicans can reach common ground on this legislation. Desperate for something to write home about, Cholly is claiming success just for having voted 'for' a bill. Talk about cheapening language!

Boustany is following the lead of Congressman Sensenbrenner and other Republicans who are hoping that some tough posturing on immigration might divert voter attention away from the broad range of failures that this Republican administration and this Republican Congress have inflicted on the American people.

Perhaps Boustany is hoping that this chest-beating about immigration hardball will make people in his district forget the failure of the federal government to provide timely and effective support for the victims of hurricane Rita.

Fat chance, Cholly!

But, this use of tax-payer dollars to covertly support his campaign is nothing new for Boustany. In fact over the past three years (2004, 2005 and 2006) Seventh District tax payers have footed the bill for a number of Boustany's campaign fund-raising events. Didn't know that? Well, you may recall that Vice President Dick Cheney has flown into the district on a number of occasions to attend fund raisers for Boustany.

In each event, local law enforcement agencies were required to provide security services for the vice president. Tens of thousands of local tax payer dollars on each trip used to enable Cheney to raise campaign money for Boustany.

So, using tax payer dollars to support his campaign is nothing new for Boustany. The use of congressional franking privileges, though, merely confirms the basic Republican tenant that government is their personal tool when they are in office.

Unable to make his Republican leaders take the hurricane recovery needs in his district seriously, Boustany is trying to change the subject.

Sorry, Cholly! The failure of the federal government to respond to genuine need in the wake of hurricane Rita in Southwest Louisiana is the unshakable, unspinnable reality that you are stuck with!


Johnny Cuban said...

Hey, what can you expect from Republicans? If Halliburton can get a Federal contract to make some money, they will be over there fixing things up lickety-split!

GumboFilé said...

I don't like this either but you make it sound like Boustany is doing something that other congressmen don't do. They all do it, Republican and Democrat alike.

David in Grand Coteau